Boys cross country: Hersey's Methner picks up Gatorade award

  • Hersey's Josh Methner wins the boys Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria.

      Hersey's Josh Methner wins the boys Class 3A state cross country finals Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald report

In its 34th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company on Monday announced Josh Methner of Hersey High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Illinois Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Methner is the first Gatorade Illinois Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Hersey.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Methner as Illinois' best high school boys cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced later this month, Methner joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports.

The 5-foot-8, 127-pound junior raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 14:11.5, leading the Huskies to a second-place finish as a team. Methner earned all-American honors at both national championship meets, placing sixth at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships and 15th at the Nike Cross Nationals final. He broke the tape at the Richard Spring Invitational and the Palatine Invitational, while finishing second at the NXN Midwest Regional championships and seventh at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships.

Methner has volunteered locally on behalf of his church's youth group. "Josh's passion for improvement and competition is something that most can't even come close to matching," said Hersey coach Kevin Young. "He has logged nearly 1,500 miles since the start of the summer, and the results speak for themselves."

Methner has maintained a 3.65 GPA in the classroom.

Methner joins Gatorade Illinois Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Danny Kilrea (2017-18, Lyons Township), Dylan Jacobs (2016-17, Sandburg), Jon Davis (2015-16, Oakwood), and Jesse Reiser (2014-15 & 2013-14, McHenry) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Methner has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

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